Two teams that shared league championships will meet Thursday, Oct. 24, when the Westerville Central High School girls volleyball team plays Worthington Kilbourne in a Division I district semifinal at Bloom-Carroll.
Kilbourne, which is seeded fifth while Central is seeded sixth, earned an OCC-Capital Division co-title with Olentangy and is 20-4 overall.
The Warhawks followed a regular season in which they shared the OCC-Cardinal title with Hilliard Bradley by opening the district tournament with wins over Delaware (25-11, 25-5, 25-12 on Oct. 15) and Licking Heights (25-15, 25-9, 25-9 on Oct. 16) to improve to 21-3.
"(Kilbourne has) a very good volleyball team," coach Shaun Servick said. "They've got a very good middle blocker, a nice outside hitter and a nice right-side hitter. (Wolves coach Meladee) Hopkins always has her kids prepared and they always play hard. They feel like they've had a successful year and they've got pretty high aspirations. I like our odds -- I always do -- but Kilbourne will present a challenge."
While Kilbourne features 6-foot-2 senior middle hitter Lydia DeWeese, senior setter Haley Defibaugh and senior outside hitter Sarah Freiheit, Central has been led by its defense.
Senior libero Maddie Cline, junior outside hitter Alex Kuhns and sophomore outside hitters Acacia Freeman and Bailey Line have led a system that has featured a strong ability to side out. Senior setter Kelly Piper and sophomore opposite hitter Katie Myers also have been standouts, according to Servick.
The Kilbourne-Central winner will play in a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at Bloom-Carroll against fourth-seeded Grove City or 10th-seeded New Albany.
The district champion will play Central Crossing, DeSales, Hilliard Darby or Olentangy Liberty in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Hilliard Davidson. The regional final is Nov. 2 at Davidson.
Last season, Central was a regional semifinalist and Kilbourne was a district semifinalist.
"When you include our (three) wins (Oct. 12 in the Tourney for the Cure) at Pickerington North, we've really been able to do a lot of things at a high level," Servick said.
North falls to Darby in tournament opener
North opened the Division I district tournament with a 25-21, 25-14, 24-26, 24-26, 15-8 loss to visiting Darby in the second round Oct. 16.
The Warriors, who were seeded 14th while Darby was 22nd, finished 13-7.